Editorial — Why Are Federal Agencies Stockpiling Ammo?

Steve Burch | July 9, 2016

The Posse Comitatus Act is a federal law signed in 1878. The purpose of the act is to limit using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States.

Its primary purpose is to prevent a U.S. President—the Commander in Chief—from using federal troops against the U.S. citizenry. And so we come to a couple of interesting facts.

Fact one. The IRS has purchased about $11 million worth of firearms, ammunition and tactical gear between 2006 and 2014. The IRS!

I can only conclude from this fact that (a), they know what I think of them, and (b) they are scart!

But kidding aside, the IRS has found a need for more than $1 million of guns and ammo per year, at the latest rates.

And they are not alone.

A report released by American Transparency on June 17 says, “During a nine-year period through 2014, we found, 67 agencies unaffiliated with the Department of Defense spent $1.48 billion on guns and ammo. Of that total, $335.1 million was spent by agencies traditionally viewed as regulatory or administrative, such as the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Mint.”


Even more compelling and troublesome is this fact. According to Paul Caron of Pepperdine University School of Law, “The number of non-Defense Department federal officers authorized to make arrests and carry firearms (200,000) now exceeds the number of U.S. Marines (182,000).”

Fact Two. These are federal police. They are armed and equipped like soldiers. They represent an army operating under the control of the executive branch and unconstrained by Posse Comitatus.

And they find a need to arm themselves to the teeth. Should there be a lesson there for us? I think yes. But the government, at least the current regime, says that while the government needs more and more arms, the citizenry needs fewer arms.

This tracks the same logic where the president ridiculed the notion that a border fence would offer protection for Americans, but when some guy jumped the fence at the White House, they raised the height of that fence.


This sort of intellectual dishonesty has most recently been on display in the wake of the awful shooting in Orlando.

Despite the shooter clearly and repeatedly citing why he was doing what he was doing—as he was doing it—the U.S. Attorney General went to Orlando and declared that “it may be months” before we understand what motivated this person.

I reflect back to the awful shooting last year in a church in Charleston, S.C. It took only hours for that motivation to be understood, named and condemned.

How can insight into one mind be so certain and another so uncertain? Could it be political?

Because I am a cynic here, I notice that the time frame set out by the Attorney General for understanding the Orlando shooter’s motivation extends past her time in office, and past her boss’s tenure.

As awful as was the shooting in Orlando, it was worse in France on Friday, Nov. 13 last year; two and a half times worse. Gun control in France is very tight. Gun control did not protect those people there. Yet, we are told that we should implement it here, for our safety.

I don’t believe it. I don’t believe most of what our leaders tell us anymore.

There is something that I think is very clear. There are only three things that stop these shootings when they occur. Either every victim is dead, or the shooter runs out of bullets, or a good guy with a gun shows up and stops the shooter.

My background in self defense goes as far back as the M-1 and M-14. I cut my teeth on the earliest editions of both the M-16 and AR-15. I qualified on several types of machine guns. I understand the dynamics of a gun fight.

When I listen to our current leaders talk about the way forward, I am convinced they do not understand these things, and their lack of understanding is dangerous. Doubly dangerous is their concerted efforts to leave us all defenseless; at the mercy of either terrorists with guns, or an armed government that continues to stray further from the protections supposedly guaranteed by our Constitution. Either way, my rule is simple. I don’t plan to be the first to run out of bullets.

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